“According to three league sources, the leader for the Hornets’ coaching job is Mike D’Antoni,” wrote Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com.
It sounds like the Hornets like the idea of paring D’Antoni with young star LaMelo Ball.
“I don’t think it’s a done deal or anything, but I know they like the idea of what he can do with LaMelo and their running game,” a source close to the matter told Bulpett. “If D’Antoni can get those guys on his wavelength, that’s going to be an even more fun team to watch.”
The Hornets are looking to replace James Borrego, who was let go following the team’s play-in tournament loss to the Atlanta Hawks this season.
Borrego led the Hornets to their best record in his tenure in the 2021-22 season, but it wasn’t enough for the team to keep him for next season. The team failed to make the playoffs during his time as its head coach. He compiled a regular season record of 138-163 with the Hornets.
D’Antoni is a two-time NBA Coach of the Year, as he won the award during the 2004-05 season as well as the 2016-17 campaign.
He is one of the best offensive minds in the NBA, and his coaching style would likely fit well with a Hornets roster that is loaded with young offensive talent.
He has career records of 672-527 in the regular season and 54-56 in the playoffs.
The Hornets have lost in the play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference in consecutive seasons and clearly are hoping that their next head coach will be able to guide them to a playoff appearance in the 2022-23 season.